Russell T Davies slams Bernard Cribbins snub as Bafta backtracks

Bafta has now 'confirmed' it will honour the memory of the late actor at the TV awards ceremony.

Russell T. Davies attends the British Academy Television Craft Awards at The Brewery on April 24, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Russell T Davies called Bafta's tweet about forgetting Bernard Cribbins' tribute 'the work of an idiot'. (Getty Images)

Russell T Davies has called Bafta's reaction to omitting Bernard Cribbins from its film industry memorial tribute "the work of an idiot."

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts tweeted that the star of The Railway Children, Doctor Who and The Wombles was being "considered" for the TV awards, after it failed to remember him at the 2023 film awards ceremony.

Doctor Who showrunner Davies said on social media: "It’s fair enough to remember Bernard Cribbins at the TV @bafta, not the film. To say he’s being ‘considered’ is the work of an idiot."

Read more: Doctor Who's David Tennant and Catherine Tate pay tribute to Bernard Cribbins

Bafta has now told Yahoo UK: "We can confirm Bernard Cribbins will be remembered in our upcoming Bafta Television Awards ceremony broadcast in May."

Cribbins died in July 2022 at the age of 93.

He was famous for providing narration for children's TV classic The Wombles, as well as playing Wilfred Mott — grandfather of Catherine Tate's character — during the David Tennant era of Doctor Who.

Bernard Cribbins poses with his Officer of the British Empire (OBE) medal after receiving it during an Investiture ceremony with the Princess Anne, Princess Royal at Windsor Castle, on November 03, 2011 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Ison - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Bernard Cribbins died in July 2022 at the age of 93. (Getty Images)

But he was also remembered by many for starring on the big screen opposite Jenny Agutter as station master Albert Perks in family classic The Railway Children in 1970.

He starred in several of the Carry On films and other notable film roles included prison comedy Two-Way Stretch, Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy and a minor part in David Niven's 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale.

His TV work included being a regular storyteller on Jackanory, he appeared in Fawlty Towers episode The Hotel Inspectors and he had a returning role in Coronation Street in 2003.

David Tennant and Bernard Cribbins filming on the set of the BBC's 'Doctor Who' Cardiff, Wales - 06.04.09
Bernard Cribbins with David Tennant on the set of Doctor who in 2009. (PA)

After fans shared their surprise and displeasure that he had not been included in the memorial tribute at the Bafta film awards, the industry body then caused further offence by making an excuse on social media.

Bafta tweeted: "With limited time in our broadcast it isn’t possible to honour all those who have sadly passed away. Bernard features in our online records and given his influential work in TV, he will be considered for inclusion in the next Television Awards broadcast."

William Mervyn, Gary Warren, Bernard Cribbins and Jenny Agutter on the set of 'The Railway Children' at Oakworth, West Yorkshire. 20th May 1970. (Photo by Swindells/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Bernard Cribbins starred with Jenny Agutter in beloved classic The Railway Children. (Getty Images)

It is not the first time Bafta has snubbed a late star by forgetting to include them in its memorial tributes.

In 2015 it forgot both Bob Hoskins and Rik Mayall at the film awards. Again its defense was that it remembered Hoskins at the TV awards ceremony instead.

Read more: Baftas 2023: Full list of winners as All Quiet on the Western Front dominates

And in 2019 Chuckle Brothers star Barry Chuckle was left out of the memorial reel at the TV Baftas.

Watch: All Quiet On The Western Front broke a Baftas record at the 2023 film awards